Writing is a home-bound career, and our work is done under the feet of the rest of the family.What that means and how it works out varies widely. I know at least one writer who hides in the basement to find a quiet spot.
I’m lucky enough to be without day job. My husband—hereinafter referred to as Beloved—has been retired for some time. The good news for Beloved is I’m home. Usually he’s just happy to know I’m working away somewhere in the house, He does his thing, I do mine. He has made some unfortunate discoveries, however.
- The Writer does not wish to be interrupted unless the need is dire. Is there blood? Will injuries result? Can she prevent it? Are the police at the door? Is it the grandson?
- The Writer does not tolerate sudden loss of electric power. If one must tinker with the circuit breakers, it is best done when The Writer is at the grocery story or walking.
- The same applies to the WiFi router.
- The Writer is prone to wandering off mentally when in the throes of story creation. Should the Writer become non-responsive, bring her back gently. The Writer is also prone to sudden outbursts of reading out loud.
- When distracted The Writer may forget which credit card and/or bank account is meant to be dedicated to writing expenses. It is best to remain calm while unraveling said complications.
Some accommodation does alleviate these discomforts. A dedicated space of some sort is vital. In my case it involved taking over an entire room lined with books and surrounded by windows that we affectionately call “The Solarium.” It has a sturdy door that can be closed and a nob for hanging a sign. The sign says “I’m writing,” but it really means “enter this place at your own risk.”
Weekly review of the family calendar, and list of what the Beloved needs done keep both of us reassured. So do date nights.
Beloved is also very good at providing beverage therapy. Coffee—hot and black—is ready when I wake up every morning. Red wine is provided every evening, and, when the writing business goes badly, as needed during the day. This keeps The Writer happy and grateful.
Other family members have learned to cope with “She’s writing; you’ll have to call back.” Most of them do it with good grace. Some family members have become used to sudden requests to read passages and respond. The Writer means immediately. Most do it with good grace.
What do other families do? Check here